December 28, 2014 (Year B Christmas 1) Celtic Meditation

John 1:1-18

“And the Word became flesh and … made his dwelling among us.” This is the Christmas miracle – that the Unique Son of God, who had been with God the Father forever without beginning, became what we are, a fragile human person. The Life of the World, the Life that is the Light of the World, came into our dark world of sorrow and frustration, to live among us as one of us. What does this Christmas miracle tell us about who God is and what it means to be human?

The Christmas miracle has a purpose. This purpose is so important that John the baptizer was sent to bear witness to the coming of the Light, Jesus, into the world. Moses had come to bring the Law which reveals some of the heart of God. The Son of God, Jesus, reveals even more: grace and truth. How, as Church, do we demonstrate that we know Jesus as the one who fully reveals the grace and truth of God?

Jesus came so that he might make His Father known to us. He alone of all human persons is of the same nature as the Father. Adopted children do not share the same DNA as their adopted parents, but they are loved by their adopted parents and they learn to trust their new parents. Trust is foundational to healthy relationships. We can be connected by DNA, but if we don’t believe, if we don’t know, love, and trust those with whom we share that DNA, we are not really family. Even children born by natural descent are not always true children. Knowledge and love must be mutual; it is not enough for the parent to love and know the child, but the child needs to know their parents and love them in order to be family. All people are known and loved by God, but not all people know, love, and trust God. The Unique Son of God became what we are, fully human, in order to show us his Father and show us how to love and trust the Father so that we can be what Jesus is, a child of God’s.[1] What, as Church, are we doing to help those who do not know God to see that God is trustworthy?

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[1] When the Greek church fathers use the phrase “He became what we are that we might become what he is,” the concept in view is theosis. This term is a way of describing sharing in the divine life, being caught up in the love shared between the persons of the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and thus sharing in eternal life (see Hebrews 2:14 and 3:14). One way of describing this sharing in the divine life is being adopted by God as God’s children.

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